Anyone with a camera can shoot families.Your challenge is to capture real connections, to create timeless work, and to aim for images that are true, no matter which truths you decide to showcase.
Not everyone can do it well.
Not everyone can do it well.
To this day, if you took away all other subjects and left me with just one, I’d choose families. No questions asked.
But how did I get started? How has my work evolved, and how am I consistently making multi-thousand dollar sales for each session that I'm shooting -- while simultaneously owning a film lab, shooting weddings, teaching workshops, writing books, and parenting six kids?
The answers are by turns embarrassing (holy pricing mistakes, Batman), simple (my shot list never changes), and easy (streamlined business practices and effective client incentives). They can also be duplicated in your specific circumstances. (Yes, yours.)
In FIND: Ohana Means Family, I'm laying out how to shoot a family portrait session in a way that’s fast, fun, and profitable.
It’s applicable to every single family you’ll encounter.
We’ll break down problem kids, problem moms, problem dads, and probably extended families -- no one is immune! -- to get you through the situation and showing only amazing images that mask any kind of breakdown that happened during the shoot.
I've fielded my fair share of horrible clients, terrible locations, horrendous weather, and ridiculous requests. But you wouldn't know that from looking at my images. You can learn to do the same thing.
You'll accept that your job as a family photographer is not to just show up with a camera and take photos. You’re going to come pretty close to taking the role of freaking family counselor, and you just happen to have a camera in your hands while you do it. Instead of letting that intimidate you, you can use it to take control of the session and deliver images that leave your clients freaking speechless.
By the time you're done reading FIND: Ohana Means Family, you’ll stop flying blind with no plan when it comes to shooting families. You’ll have a fantastic shot list that allows for infinite variations depending on your location, creativity, and specific family members. Only it’s simple to remember, so you won’t have to print it out and refer to it at any point. (You’re welcome.)
Throughout the book, I’ll be using word and image pairings to show you exactly what I’m talking about with specific examples. We’ll walk through session after session and situation after situation to get you comfortable with what’s coming at you. Whether it's an awkward teen, a stiff parent, a control freak grandma, that niece who kicks everyone in the shins upon greeting them, or a baby who won't stop screaming, I've been there. And I can help you get through it.
All of you’ve got to do is stick with me and enjoy the ride.
In FIND: Ohana Means Family, you'll learn:
+ the instant supermodel trick to make anyone look like she models in her spare time
+ the 4 types of photography you must master to shoot families well
+ your shooting game plan for every session, no matter how many people are involved
+ kid whispering 101
+ how to handle the occasional nightmare session (without it showing in the images)
+ common session-gone-wrong scenarios and how to make 'em right
+ my strategic game plan for shooting large groups and huge families
+ artificial lighting crash course tricks to light up any space
+ secrets of shooting a small family
+ the key to winning Dad over in one simple step
+ tech specs for shooting families on film
+ the behind-the-scenes details of my mockable pricing moments
how to get people to buy prints right now -- even if the gallery is online for months
+ why print pricing wiggle room puts more money in your pocket
+ common pricing pitfalls and how to avoid them
+ the Endless Referral Maker process that keeps my business afloat
+ my top-secret bounceback discount that gets your peeps buying TWICE in 24 hours
The business tips and tricks at the end of the book, though brief, will help you recover the cost of purchasing this book in no time.
YOU CAN'T LOSE, PEOPLE.
Once we've covered nitty gritty details of shooting and business logistics, we'll move on to expressing your voice through your photography.
When you see my work, you’re seeing MY idea of family over and over again. You’re seeing what I think families are all about, and you’re seeing a body of work that points back to family every damn time I pick up a camera.
Consistency in your voice will sell more family portraits than following all the other advice in FIND: Families combined. So say something, and then keep saying it.
What is it that you’re trying to say?
There is inevitably going to be continuity to your work. There’s going to be one constant, clear voice. But what is that voice? What does it have to say about love and life and families and chaos?
I can't tell you what it is and I can't find it for you. That's your real work in the world.
Let's start doing that work now.
FIND: Ohana Means Family costs WAY less than that first print order your next family portrait client is going to place.
But Jon...does this just rehash one of your other books? No, sir or ma'am! This is all new material, fresh from my latest shoots and experiences.
I've been shooting families FOREVER...does this apply to me? Maybe. Are you consistently creating the images and earning the money from said images that you'd like? If you are, don't buy this book. If you have room for improvement, pick it up now.
But Jon...what if I buy this and hate it? Hate all you want, but when you use the bounceback discount and make an extra $500 this week, you'll forgive me.
Also, you won't hate it. I spent months condensing all my know-how into simple, easy-to-use advice that works every. Freaking. Time.
Does this contain pricing advice that makes me jack my rates and lose all my clients? Nope! There's common sense, practical advice that works in any market. No rate-jacking required.
Again, the $249 you spend will create more session image variety, ensure fewer session nightmares, and bring in more income from your portraits on the regular. It's simple and practical advice that you can put into play starting the second you download the book.
Have an additional question that isn't answered here? Just e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.